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In 2020, Reply unleashed the full potential of its Challenges platform, with five online-only challenges. Of these five, the Investment Challenge was new this year and joined our Code Challenge (launched in 2018), Cyber Security Challenge (2018) and Creative Challenge (2019.) And 2020 was also a special year in our Challenge history, because we broke attendance records across the board, too.
But just as interesting as the attendance figures is the huge community that’s sprung up around these Challenge events. Originally, Reply Challenges were no more than online competitions, but this year, they’ve evolved into something truly extraordinary. They’ve become formative events where the Reply Challenge community has become one of the fundamental features. So, let’s drill down into the numbers.
80,000: now that is a community
The first interesting figure is the number of people who’ve taken part in our challenges – more than 80,000. It’s often tricky to visualise big numbers, so here’s what you could do with that many people:
• Fill the San Siro stadium (with no social distancing, of course).
• Crew the space shuttle 10,000 times, that’s 1,865 times more than it actually flew.
• Create a human chain stretching from Paris to Brussels.
In other words, it’s a big number.
Hungry to learn
It’s even more interesting when we think that it’s made up of 80,000 individuals, each very different to the next. So what type of people make up our Challenge community? Well, it’s not easy to profile such a diverse group, but we have discovered a few things. First of all, most of them are students. In fact, 60% are still in university or high school, while the rest are in a work environment.
Generation Z leads the charge
They’re a young and dynamic community. The average member was born in 1996, the same year as Reply! But though the average challenger is 24 years old, most were born in the year 2000. So who better is there than young people to help solve tomorrow's problems?
Citizens of the world
We know it’s important to have an international outlook, and in that regard our Challenges community ticks plenty of boxes: 155 countries in all! Italy has the lion's share, with almost 40% of people registered, and other countries widely represented include the UK, India, Brazil, Romania, and Germany.
New, but keen to get involved
Being young and being international is great, but the data reveals something else we think is very important, which is when people first signed up for a Reply Challenge. Almost half (49%) of our Challenge community signed up in 2020 – that’s an astonishing 50% increase from 2019. This is partly because in 2020, we opened up our Challenges to the world, but also partly because many schools, colleges and universities were encouraging students to take part in web-based challenges like ours, to help supplement their online learning.
The pressure’s on Reply
With great power comes great responsibility, and don’t we know it. With such a young, international, and growing community, we have a duty to create and run ever-more foundational yet challenging competitions. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that knowledge and skills development isn’t something that just happens in the classroom, it happens everywhere in our lives. And while it’s happening, why not have fun!
Ready for 2021?
With one year about to end and another about to start, it’s the perfect time to officially announce our Reply Challenges 2021 calendar:
• Code Challenge (Standard & Teen Edition): 11th March
• Investment Challenge: 19th - 30th April
• Creative Challenge: 21st - 23rd May
• Cyber Security Challenge: 15th - 16th October
Save the dates!
Based on the positive feedback we’ve had, we’ll continue to enrich the learning and training materials for all competitions, so those taking part can be even more prepared. After all, trying to win is stimulating, but learning is a crucial part of the Challenge experience, too.
In the meantime, follow us on our social networks and Telegram channels to stay updated on all Challenge news.
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